29 November, 2020

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Different Signals Given By The Autocratic Power Which Were Perceived As Contradictory

By Harsha Gunasena

Harsha Gunasena

There are similarities of some incidents happened after the 2010 Presidential Election and at the Parliament when 20th Amendment was approved.

The Presidential election of 2010 was fought in the lines of war victory. The question was who was the war hero, whether it was Commander-in-chief Mahinda Rajapaksa or Commander of Army Sarath Fonseka. Majority of the Sinhalese decided that the Commander-in-chief was the war hero. Ironically Tamil nationals who were at the receiving end of the war were forced to vote for the Commander of the Army who fought the war against LTTE which represented the political rights of the Tamils,  since they did not have a choice. Soon after the end of the Presidential elections the ex-commander of the Army and the defeated opponent candidate was arrested after dragging down him on the floor when he refused to surrender to a junior officer. Along with him several service personal in uniform along with ex-service men were arrested. 

This treatment to the Ranaviruvo, as they were elevated in the social rank, was a shock to many. Especially under the circumstances that war victory was the main component of the election victory and the war veterans and even the ordinary soldiers were treated with respect and dignity, it was a shock. This mentality was partially inherent from the masses and partially was put into their heads in election propaganda.

There were many requests from the society especially from the Bhikkus to pardon Gen. Fonseka since he played a pivotal role in war but the rulers did not listen.  By their very act they undermined the status of the society to the Ranaviruva which was created by themselves to their advantage.

At the Presidential Election 2020, the election campaign was carried out on many issues including security but eventually it was reduced to ethnic and religious lines. The voting pattern was sharply divided on the ethnic lines. There was no marked difference in the General Election. The President went to Ruwanveliseya to take the oaths and after the General Election the Cabinet has taken oaths at the Magul Maduwa at Dalada Maligawa premises. The President after taking oaths said that he was elected mainly from the Sinhala Buddhist votes. He also said that he would be the President of all who voted for him as well as who voted against him. However, President was giving strong signals that he would listen to the advice of Maha Sangha.

When the 20A came one of the major issues for the ethnocentric nationalist forces was dual citizenship issue. Ministers G.L. Peiris and Ali Sabry argued in the Parliament at the 20A debate that citizens of Sri Lanka even though they were dual citizens they should have the full rights of a citizen and otherwise it was unfair. This is not the case all the time. United States is a country which allows dual citizenship, but those who become dual citizens have to renounce allegiance to the other country. Moreover under Section 1 of Article II of the US constitution no person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.  

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a citizen of US as well. He was born in US so that if he spent 14 years in US, he will be eligible to become US President. There are more than 50 countries which accept the dual citizenship.

The most dangerous part of the 20A is that it allows the President to interfere with the activities of the Parliament and the Judiciary, the other two main arms of the Democracy.  This was not addressed by the ethnocentric nationalist forces. They were caged in the petty ethnocentric nationalist mindset and concerned on the issues such as dual citizenship.

Their problem is that either in the Parliament or in the Judiciary there can be minorities but in the executive arm there can be only a Sinhala Buddhist so that they do not mind to divulge whatever the power to that individual since he or she would be an “our man or woman”. What if that person is a citizen of another country as well? They cannot simply allow that to happen.

In India there were several Prime Ministers from different minority ethnic and religious groups. USA produced its first black President few years back. The present Prime Minister of UK is a citizen of USA as well. The power enjoyed by the leaders of these countries are always subject to appropriate checks and balances.

Rational arguments were put forward by many Bhikkus including the General Secretaries of Ramanna Nikaya and Amarapura Nikaya and the Catholic Bishops Conference against the 20A.

The Government finally had to rely on the opposition minority Muslim MPs to get the 20A passed while many Bhikkus who supported the establishment of this Government opposed it. The Government and the ethnocentric nationalist forces who supported and ideologized the winning formula of the Government at the elections intentionally created a hatred towards the minorities, especially towards Muslims. Those very Muslims were needed to support the 20A which was opposed by those very ethnocentric nationalist forces.

That is the visible contradiction. This is similar to what happened after 2010 Presidential Elections. Although those are visible contradictions, those are not so in reality. They are just tools in the game to secure and establish power. Therefore, ethnocentric nationalist forces should realize that their sentiments are being capitalized repeatedly by the shrewd political leaders. They should realize that in order to sustain our Democracy, the multi ethnic and multi religious phenomenon of our society should be reflected there and there should be appropriate checks and balances at the top so that one arm of the Democracy is not too powerful than the other two arms of it. That is the winning formula for Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 23
    5

    Gota and Mahinda go around the country during the Presidential election and general election boasting that they don’t need minority support to win elections any more and whip up Tamil and Muslim hatred.

    But in the parliament they go around begging for Muslim and Tamil MPs vote to get 2/3rd majority to pass 20A.If not for these traitors 20A would be in the dust bin.
    —————-
    Who the hell is Diana Gamage?
    She was appointed MP on the national list for Sajith’s new party.whats it name?
    And what does she do?
    Back stab Sajith?
    She gave an interview and denied there was no money involved! Ha ha
    ——————
    My3 ran awy from the parliament didn’t have the courage to turn up and vote against. but at least he had the back bone not to vote in favour.
    But his Jaffna MP Anjagan Ramathan a Tamil traitor refuse to toe the party line and sucking up to Namal.
    =====================
    ..and Rishad Bathiudeen was hunted down and dragged to the parliament to vote

    Only TNA made a strong stand against the 20A

    Sajith’s new party , what its name? is already bought over by the Rajapakses
    Sajith has no leadership or command any respect
    ——————-
    Now the theros will get back to their business of harassing the Tamils and Gota will conveniently ignore it
    ——————————————————–

    with these kind of politicians sri Lanka is doomed in deed
    ———————–

    • 24
      3

      Rajash,
      Politics in Sri Lanka is about ethnic politics, not about country’s socio economic development, peace or rule of law. Rajapakse family has a very good understanding of the Buddhist Sinhala community which has a voting power of 75%. So anti Tamil or anti-Muslim stand is a very attractive policy they developed over seven decades. The first dictator JRJ from UNP was very successful in attracting Sinhala Buddhists votes having anti- Tamil politics. He divided Tamil speaking Muslims against Tamils by giving enough cakes. At the end of the war, Rajapakse family used the same policy against Muslims. Rajapakse family well aware that they can buy Muslims if they need. Within Tamils and Muslims there are always a few political opportunists who can be bought easily throwing very cheap cakes. The real losers are majority, Sinhala, majority Tamils and majority Muslims. As long as the majority cannot understand the true nature of politicians in Srilanka, cheats are always in power. That is why Sri Lanka continue to be a poor country and in continued wars and riots. Todays hero’s tomorrows traitors, tomorrows hero’s todays traitors.

      • 9
        2

        Ajith – I absolutely agree with you.

    • 5
      22

      Rajash,
      Sinhalayo and Buddhist monks never harassed Tamils unless provoked by Tamils. Since the time Sinhale got Independence, all the ethnic conflicts between Sinhalayo and Tamils were started by Malabar Vellala racist Tamils who were losing their privileged position they enjoyed during British rule.
      If Tamils learn a lesson from the blunders they did in the past and behave properly, nothing will happen. Now more than 50% of Tamils from North and East live in the South with Sinhalayo without any problem. Tamil Diaspora and TNA politicians do not like that. They want confrontation not coexistence.
      —-
      “Now the theros will get back to their business of harassing the Tamils and Gota will conveniently ignore it.”

      • 10
        2

        Eagle Eye – I think there was a typo in your typing
        Sinhalayo and Buddhist monks never harassed Tamils unless commandeered by the Sinhala politicians.

      • 2
        3

        EE,

        Either way Sri Lanks is doomed!

        Lets say SL is a Buddhist nation – then SL is doomed as Buddhist monks have warned before 20A. One good thing of 20A voting is these saffron jokers and Buddhism ended up in the rubbish bin.

        Lets say SL is not a Buddhist nation but is guided by sense. Then SL is totally doomed as happened to Nazi Germany.

    • 9
      1

      Rajash,
      What I saw in yours, – Sajith has no leadership or command any respect, makes me comment.
      Leadership is a quality you are born with. If you are not born with it, you are not fit to lead.
      Sajith runs on the record of his President father, – Premadasa.

  • 9
    1

    “G.L. Peiris and Ali Sabry argued in the Parliament at the 20A debate that citizens of Sri Lanka even though they were dual citizens they should have the full rights of a citizen and otherwise it was unfair.
    =====================
    This change to the constitution now open the doors for the so called LTTE rump with dual nationality (TGTE etc) can legitimately contest elections in the NE. Thanks you Sabry and Pieris.

    who knows even Chinese politburo members will be allowed to apply for Sri Lankan citizenship and allowed in to the parliament.
    ====================

    • 17
      0

      Everyone has forgotten the other end of being a dual citizen. In the case of a US citizen, he has to go to war and bear arms for the US, if required.
      So GLP and AS did a “koley wahala.”
      The spoke only consequences at our end. Imagine a Minister (at worst a President of SL) being called up by US in an emergency.

      • 18
        1

        Dual citizens of SL renounce SL citizenship when they become US citizens. Subsequently they take dual citizenship in SL again. But his obligations to US have not been rescinded and the SL citizenship could be argued as secondary with first obligation to US.

  • 17
    0

    I am of the opinion that “Rajapakse & Co. Inc.” has, with this turn of event (masterminded and engineered by a US citizen in the Conglemarate) succeeded in establishing that “Winning Formula” for the Government. Now, no “Sinhala Buddhists led by the Maha Sangha would be able to twist and turn hands of their own “Creation” of “Rajapakse & Co,” as they please; because “Muslim” community representatives gave the “Life Line” at the most vulnerable time to pull out the troubled ship of the “Rajapakse Conglemarate” and the Government. We are very “serious” of the vote of those seven “Muslim” MPs, but why are we not talking of the real “Hypocrites” of the “Sinhala Buddhist” MPs, such as Wijedasa Rajapakse, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Udaya Gammanpila, Wimal Weerawanse, Sarath Weerasekera, Vidura Wickramanayke? For a “Short” period of time, the “Sinhala Buddhists” led by “Maha Sangha” trusted and had high hopes on this band of “Loyal Patriots” to see at the end of the day making a “U” turn and only walking bear “Naked” without any shame (if the had any). Anything is possible in this land of “Miracles” in the Indian ocean.

    • 14
      1

      Simon

      “Anything is possible in this land of “Miracles” in the Indian ocean.”

      Okay, can I take it Gota would sign MCC agreement with gusto without any hesitation in front of visiting US Secretary of State while Sinhala/Buddhist patriots like Wijedasa Rajapakse, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Udaya Gammanpila, Wimal Weerawanse, Sarath Weerasekera, Vidura Wickramanayke, Gunadasa, Sangha, Shavendra and his fellow goons, …………………. witnessing the occasion?

    • 7
      0

      Simon
      Your point is correct. That is the other side.

  • 14
    0

    Above all MR has trapped the society deceptively to plunder their wealth. 20A is to suck the last trace of blood.

  • 2
    16

    look you donkeys of CT . The people wanted the 19a gone. It does not matter what revisionist history you morons talk about. Tamils particularly the “Civil Society ” is all Terror Supporters. Your day will come. So watch out. !

    • 13
      1

      a14455

      “look you donkeys of CT”

      I am sorry Wijedasa Rajapakse, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Udaya Gammanpila, Wimal Weerawanse, Sarath Weerasekera, Vidura Wickramanayke ….. Gota, Namal, Mahinda, …. do not visit CT.

    • 1
      3

      Terrorists and Extremists Oriented people and leaders definitely wiping out by Gotabaya Rajapaksa same as he did for the LTTE. Heladiva is not far away, his vision and mission very clear also. Mother Lanka (Heladiva) be patient Gotabaya knows what King Dutugamunu and father of the nation D.S. Senanayaka did for Sri Lanka (Heladiva) History is repeating Sri Lanka (Heladiva)

  • 11
    1

    Good thing about 20A voting is saffron jokers ended up in the rubbish bin.

    • 8
      3

      GATAM

      “Good thing about 20A voting is saffron jokers ended up in the rubbish bin.”

      Whenever I see them I always cheer them for they the only best allies we now have who can subdue the clan and their b***s carriers.

  • 1
    8

    Dear Harsha

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    When you say Ethnocentric you mean all the ghetto makers correct? Sinhalese/Tamils/Muslims irrespective.

    To me all these folks “who” are “racists” (the real minorities) and except the time they were allowed to point guns/swords/sticks at us (since 1970) we resisted them as best as possible as Nation of people. Some are openly foreign sponsored proxies and others are ignorant locals who spewed hatred on each other (as civilisation yet to touch them) and irrespective of this the victims are our JVP/Tamil Militant/Armed forces our children period.

    • 1
      7

      The end of 2009 war required sincerity from Tamil Leadership meaning elected MP’s then (please be reminded most of the elected MP’s from FP/ITAK/TULF/PLOTE/TELO etc for the 40 year war period got few hundred votes if you are lucky and made a living in the parliament(getting paid as they are unemployable elsewhere is a fact) contributing nothing to the Nation except buying time for them self’s being protected by the armed forces (who had to dye for this folly too) playing the LTTE and the GOSL at the same time….the GOSL thought TNA is useful to them (better of two evil)? TNA sitting on the fence etc…ever since the FP formation is been the story bringing the Indian issue in upcountry from Sinhala land to Jaffna? then the devils advocacy of we love English when most of the population be it Tamils/Sinhalese and Muslims did not speak English but spoke Sinhalese mostly and Tamil to an extent etc. Not paying attention to any issues JVP fought for too?

      • 1
        7

        FP having now started loosing Jaffna seats they moved from Federalism to Separatism and sacrificed our children in the process. Now moving to end of war if you were ever concerned about Tamils wellbeing after all their blunders one would have stood up with Hon MR to deliver a future for the Nation.

        Instead they started the political killing of Hon MR. I have a different take on Hon SF/Hon RW/Hon SS are all one and they have now played the Geo political masters and TNA connivance differently buying time for the UN to calm down as all these foreign played themselves needed explain their duplicity to Tamils as to what did really happen to their life which they do not have to explain to Sinhalese and Muslims families who lost their children.

        • 1
          7

          Remembering the war that was faciliated by many geo political masters with the UN withdrawal of the space for the onslaught as LTTE did not fit their criteria/Indian Ocean needs so the GOSL and Armed forces have to do the dirty work and and get blames at the same time on behalf of all the masters too……this bring the TNA and the Indian back in the picture together where they started the journey ion 1970’s.

          Then came the political of the Hon MR and the cooked up GOSL under Hon SS/Hon RW with the TNA as the opposition seating kindly awed by the Hon MR too.

          • 1
            7

            Now the limited NPC allowed by the Hon MR and then came the constitutional assembly our last parliament given the taste of power back to the TNA/India and now the TNA stated telling the Nation their “devolution” wish as suppose to the separatism that brought about the 1978 Hon JRJ presidential position requirement for the management of the TULF 1977 election blunders of the separatism?

            Now the last government “wasted years” of the SL peoples need to lead a dignified life and the “presidential limitation passed” but not the constitutional assembly/constitution itself /parliament vote/referendum approval for the TNA devolution that was never going to happen?

            • 1
              7

              The we thought about how to obstruct Hon GR/MR ever coming back (million thoughts went into that) but they bought their time and have come back to complete what they have started…..that is to work towards stopping the 40 year war and give the Nation any chance of a future.

              TNA has no solution to Muslim question either as they never had one…they never have to explain all their summersaults/GOSL positions/GOSL protections to the Tamils let alone to the World. Never in 70 years (other than the death to the Nation) have delivered a single thing to the people as the elected??

              • 2
                7

                The only solution that lies for a peaceful existence now the damage is done is to have a “One Nation One law” run by a head of state with the support of the military for next 10-15 years a consistent admin laying the ground rules how we go about Nation Building program constructively??

                Now we are still dealing with the geo political masters who has masterly used our children for the future management of affairs amongst themselves…at the expense of SL being the sacrificial cathode. Even now the ethnographies centric (ghetto makers of Sinhala/Tamil/Muslim) conscience does not kick in for a united future and deliver justice to all then we should leave them behind is exactly what the GOSL set out to do??? that is leadership and democratically elected and we should pay tribute and accept with our any drama???????

    • 3
      2

      I agree. All the victims are Sri Lankan Citizens.

  • 1
    6

    This is not about winning or losing nor is about face saving….we do not need to go into the niceties which we can do later once we find our own feet as a Nation…..please also note what happened to the Truth and Reconciliation process that would have Brough all to the table who killed others in our Nation where they have to meet (including me) for forgiveness……we live in a world of nothing perfect and we lead a life of no accountability/dedication/sacrifices we asked of our children we misled and we abused..one law for me and another for next devils advocacy I have purposely wrote here and demonstrated using my Fathers life too?? all done for a reason…time we deliver matters with actions list/mile stones/progress reporting to people that an MOP should do…..about time ask our Excellency to include such a template as a compulsory item in the new constitution…and think of all other important things we can gather around the world something that our Nations needs now for a better tomorrow.

    We do not need to analyses what India wants/China wants/West and the East want but we want in our Nation and go and get it as one people…this 20a lays that foundation in a measured way for that success.

    • 1
      8

      What this does is for the Muslim/Tamil/Sinhala elements who do not see eye to eye with the current admin to work under a united umbrella without any language/religious party name and agendas a National policy that JVP can help these parties to formulate to be a future GOSL/credible opposition where all the brain power is pooled for the one mission…….one nation/one Sri Lank…….as they say in Malaysia Sathu Sri Lanka.

      This is only way we can survive just as all other Nations (wannabe succesful) and progressive are doing that will save our land….now we have children studying in Sinhalese/Tamil(I always studies in Tamil) with an International need that can be English/Chinese/Spanish/Hindi etc. For our children benefit (even in our own university) we could consider English as a Medium where we all learn (compulsory) Tamil and Sinhala mastery at very young age when “we are ready” as a Nation….that could not happen in 1956 but can happen now is because this is 2020.

  • 1
    9

    In summary 20a forces unity within the “hundreds ” of divisions even within the opposition by simply being there…..if this is not a mindful act I do not know what else is the definition for the word due care…paying tribute to all the fallen Mother Lankan Children…in one master stroke called 20a…. passed by an elected GOSL and a 2/3 elected GOSL is a verdict from the people and not from the Leaders you all hate so much for whatsoever reasons….most fairly contested election without stage after stage of hate speeches/70% of the votes came to vote even during the Covid times…….put the so called Sebastians of the free speech to pay attention.

    I wish these so called human right liberators can listen to some of the FP/TULF speeches and Suthenthiran paper writings and have them audited to tell the world what an absurd mandate the Separate state was let to many more innocent blood lettings in 1977 and 1983?????

  • 1
    8

    Imagine no UNP/JVP/All the Muslim parties/All the Tamil parties…many other mix and match and they all join together (under one party and manifesto as one and not as just combined for the needs of the day) to form a “Sri Lankan Democratic Party” and promise to loose identities and live under One Law for all and all for one……..to be a “credible opposition” not to “belittle others” but have something to offer creatively to the Nation building program….bring about a parliament that discussed issues with substance …not shouting at each other…….bring the harmony/collective calm/peace to the people by their conduct so the young can learn to talk to each other in the community from their elected??? Millions of things to do in our Nation to make her what she needs to be..we just need to do that together….National interest comes first….and could not ask for a better leader than the Son of Late Hon Premadasa to represent such an outfit…a progressive journey….that all SL people ask is that from their elected?

  • 2
    0

    What is significant in the whole article is one sentence, namely, “They are just tools in the game to secure and establish power.”. The rest, regarding ethnicity and religion is just salt, pepper and other additional items such as sauces for the meal to look good and tasty. We believe in the politics of division and not in the unity. We have examples in Asia itself where the leaders, more precisely the late leaders, were able to forge the unity of so many ethnicities and religions into nationals of one country. My prayer is that at least in the distant future let this bogey of division be weeded away.

  • 4
    0

    WOW, what a show by our PSEUDO patriots,nationalist,low life politicos and all credits to Rajapaksa family. Time and again they have managed to fool most Lankans most of the time. When GR became president,I realized the return of family. I also was sure with or without 2/3, Rajapaksas will get all what they want. It is not about 20 or 21 A,B, C , it is all the powers under one family autocracy for indefinite time. Now it is time ,for all the rest who thought they were part of the government (Vasu,Wimal), they were the ones behind Rajapaksas come back, Religious heads/fanatics, Muslim carpetbaggers, dumb voters and the citizenry ,to go home and learn to live in silence. From now you are just a dummy ,if not you will be discarded into trash. There is no one indispensable other than the ruling family . “FOLKS SAY BYE TO DEMOCRAZY”.

  • 5
    1

    “Reap what you sow”, Lankans are in for double whammy. Family (20 A) and Covid pandemics. One not under their control but the other was their choice. As I had mentioned before, Lankans may step out of Covid just in time to get into the another pandemic called “family autocracy”. The reason being we are unique and from “land like no other”. Welcome to our new prosperous splendor nation.

  • 4
    1

    Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset – Tacitus

    Because they didn’t know better, they called it ‘civilization,’ when it was part of their slavery

  • 4
    0

    The people who supported Gota and co to win say that he should be granted “sweeping powers” in order to make fundamental changes to how SL is run and developed. They say that the last 72 years were wasted with “democracy” where no one was allowed to make great changes that benefit the country, due to these “checks and balances” (not the cheques and billions of balances in foreign accounts). Therefore, they claim that the Rajapaksas must rule like a royal family and decree the law of the land like ancient kings used to. They don’t imagine a future without this family and with a constitution that provides “sweeping powers” to ANY president sitting in that office, there will be great bounty for the masses. So, how about that, huh?

    • 0
      3

      another rajapaksha hater huh? hehehe

  • 0
    3

    The great USA has an executive president, are you saying they too are autocratic??? Get a life dude! We the people support 20A otherwise why even hold presidential elections? you old folks will die with hatred in your heart for a bogus eelam struggle. HILARIOUS!! :))))))

  • 0
    0

    Everyone forgets that the President was the ‘enforcer’ of the PTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) under his brother.
    Under his guidance/approval, hundreds were incarcerated without any trial, and many simply disappeared, some were ‘rehabilitated.
    Those left alive cannot be prosecuted in any court as there is no evidence against them. They are now called “political prisoners” – these are now being harassed,

  • 2
    0

    Lanka, is a country of contradictions. It is unlimited and endless. 1) zero casualty then “may be some died in cross fire”2) MS not knowing about Easter but half of parliamentarians knew about it 3) GR/BR citizenship 4) Lasantha’s murder but who is Lasantha ???5) Covid eradicated but we have a breakout like a wildfire.6) Community infection ??? oh no, not yet 7) we only had very few infected for 9 months, but suddenly we have in thousands now 8) Hatton is fully quarantined now, but not a single soul , got infected following Thonda’s procession.

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